Sept. 5, 2022

Mykel Dixon | On Rediscovering Your Creativity

Mykel Dixon | On Rediscovering Your Creativity

Mykel Dixon is an award-winning speaker, author, musician & globally recognised authority on creativity, leadership and the human future of work.

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Content
00:00 Mykel Dixon
00:29 Creativity as we get older
03:56 Why does creativity matter
06:40 How can we re-engage with creativity
10:26 The Shift in Work
18:14 Change comes from you
21:13 Thoughts to Reality is a Muscle
25:16 Creativity is life or death
32:01 You being at your best makes things better for everyone
35:26 Balancing Fun and Work
37:16 Re-Engaging with Creativity
42:52 How to be a good public speaker
50:25 Advice for Graduates
56:51 Outro

Transcript
Mykel Dixon:

If we're not careful, this is the world that we're in. It can be taken from us. Can be stolen from us. It can be, you know, but if we were to switch and go, well, what happens if we do engage with it? What happens to our life? What happens to our career? If we do make the time for it, if we invest in it, if we'd be courageous with it, if we, uh, tend to the garden, so to speak, oh my goodness, the opportunities, James

James Fricker:

I wanna start, I wanna start with, there was this little, uh, statistic, so I, I did math at uni. Um, a very sort of that way inclined

Mykel Dixon:

two.

James Fricker:

yeah, four, five, no. Um, well, so I, you know, I love a great stat and so I was I'm I'm deep in the book and there was this one sat. I'm not, you may recall this, but they were doing this experiment about creativity in sort of children and how. Kind of goes, um, through their life and, and sort of measuring the creativity at different points. And I've got it written here. So I'm just gonna repeat kind of what's in the book, but so 98% of five year olds, 98% classed as creativity, geniuses, and then this number drops down to 2%. By the time these people, the same people got to 30, um, Which was pretty insane to me, how that could happen. Uh, cuz presumably it happens to pretty much all of us. So yeah, I'd love to sort of kick off and I know this is a big theme of yours is creativity in the workplace. Um, you know, and I mean, what do you think are the reasons why that, uh, something like this happens to people as we, as we get older,

Mykel Dixon:

Look around, look at, look at the way we wor work. Look at the way that we consume information. Look at the way, you know, we're at the tail end of the industrial revolution. We are, we have been shaped and influenced. Heavily and consistently, um, for decades. And so that piece of research is a guy called George land, who, um, he, he devised one of the first ever creativity tests for NASA back in the day to get, to get us to the moon. And, um, that test, you know, help them find the. The most creative minds on the planet. And he thought a few years after that, oh, this is successful. Why don't I try it with a bunch of five year olds? And then the results came back. 98% of people, roughly speaking, generally speaking are born with this creative capacity. And then over time when they get to 10, it drops to 30. When they're 15, it drops to 12. When they're 30, they're living in the suburbs, they got jobs and kids of their own it's roughly 2%. And the, and the culmination of that research, George famously said, the research is conclusive. Noncreative behavior is learned. So what he means by that is we're taught out of our creativity. We're influenced we're conditioned out of a natural state. And then, and it's not a bad thing. I'm not throwing shade at the education system. We're not trying to make anybody wrong for this. It's just that the principles that we valued or the principles that have driven, uh, most of modern society where we've got to today have prioritized. Rational linear logical, pragmatic optimization, efficiency, productivity growth at all. Cost extraction, exploitation, et cetera, et cetera, et C. Much like a factory line, much like, um, yeah. You know, an industrial, how you produce products. You want to, you wanna shave off the edges, you wanna make it as tight a process as you can. You want to use only the materials that you need, you wanna cost cut and make savings so that you can maximize profit. Well, the, the impact of that mindset has also, um, had a profound impact on us as human beings. So now we're at this place where we need. We need to accept that. First of all, we need to recognize it and then we need.

James Fricker:

Hm. Yeah, no, it's interesting. It's interesting stuff. I mean, creativity itself. I wonder if you have any thoughts on why, like, that is a useful thing to sort of measure perhaps when it comes to like, you know, cause obviously you've seen a lot of, um, differences there when someone does engage in their creativity, that the wellbeing is kind of quite closely tied to that. Um, you know, why do you think creativity is really sort of at the heart of, of some of this stuff? And it seems to be quite an important.

Mykel Dixon:

Why it matters now. and why it matters in work and why it matters in kids. It's, it's, it's how we create our world. Well, I, I, I define creativity. I like to define it as, as a life force. It's an energy, it's just this pure potential that is thrust into this momentum. And then it produces things as a result. And it's it's, um, It's your natural self expression. It's every individual on this planet. It's that energy that gets them up and gets them imagining new possibilities. It's, it's perceiving information, processing it in their mind, in their subconscious, in their heart, in their soul, in their senses, in their everything, and then creating something as a result of it, giving something back to the world, um, almost in gratitude for everything that we've been given. And you think about the world that we are in now. Everything that we use. We're using this, this, um, Riverside tool right now to record a product, to record a podcast. It's just, it's the outcome of someone's creativity. It's, it's an idea that then has been iterated on. It's been created code tested experiments with produced. Here we go. We get to see the benefit of that. The clothes we're wearing, the food we eat, the cars we drive all. Is is someone's value that they've given to us given to the world. It's all a creative process. The whole thing and that's, and, and that's a very natural process. And I think where we've got lost, or while we've got into this difficult is we've, we've stopped seeing it as an organic natural process. You go to a rainforest, the whole thing is just pure creativity. It's just fertile soil and then reaching for the sun and everything's working together. And that takes the drops of rain. And it produces this for the mushroom to send information here. And it's, it is just be. It's this organic, you know, explosion of possibility constantly, and we've taken elements of that and gone, okay. We just wanna grow this little bit here and we wanna make sure that that goes there and let's segregate that and put this in a box and move it all around and say it doesn't work like that. Humans don't work like that. Life doesn't work like that. So we've gotta re return to, you know, that more organic sense kind of creativity that that's in us that we were born with.

James Fricker:

Mm. Yeah, definitely. What do you think someone could do to say they're I mean, yeah, like we said, at the start, you know, most people have kind of lost this essence. Right. Uh, and it perhaps gets covered up by whether it's education or social stuff or whatever, whatever happens. Like how can someone. Start to reengage with the part of themselves that still has this. Right. Cause presumably we all still, it's not lost completely. Like it's still, it's just been sort of hidden by other stuff, right?

Mykel Dixon:

what I'm interested. With you, Jimmy, what gets you going? What's the thing that light lights you up. Something that you're like, Ooh, I love that.

James Fricker:

Yeah, I think, um, one of the things I, I, I, I would use, I guess, to measure that is like getting in like a flow state and, and things like that. I think if you, things that you can get into that state with, I would say those are things where I'm like locked in the zone. Like you look at the clock, it's been four hours. How did that happen? Kind of thing.

Mykel Dixon:

What is it? Give me an example. What's the thing that gets you in that.

James Fricker:

honestly, like when I sit like now and recently, like when I sit down and do programming and. Uh, things like that. It just, I find I can just get stuck into a problem, look at the clock and time's just flown. Um, and it, and it's, it is quite satisfying. I feel like I can get, get lost in, in that kind of stuff super easily. and that's probably like quite a nerdy, big to be

Mykel Dixon:

That's awesome, man. Everyone's got their thing. Yeah. But whatever moves you cuz that's, that's the access point. That's the way back is that for anyone is to find that thing that moves them and inspires them. That could be listened to old rock and roll tunes from the fifties that could be going and people watching with a glass of wine in a cafe somewhere that could be old movies, new movies sci-fi that could. Mucking around with your kids. Anything that that just makes you go, oh God, life's amazing. What makes you feel something? You know, we've lost our capacity to feel and, and our feelings are so they're, they're like neon sign for what matters to us. And they're a, they're this. Beautiful super highway, this gateway back to our creativity in our self expression and we've robbed and starved and suppressed so much of our feeling. That we, you know, we make fun of it or we, we don't allow it or we say, oh, it's not appropriate. Or it's this and it's that, or we don't wanna, we don't wanna look weak or whatever it is, but the feeling like being attuned to what moves us, what, what makes us feel something where we just go, God, that's whoa. Something about that. And for me personally, a lot of that is the arts it's nature and the arts for me, I think that they're both just so. Powerful as tools to affect you in a way beyond your thinking mind, they, they hit your body, they hit your emotions. They hit your soul, that stuff. If, if you can surround yourself with more of that and you don't even have to do anything, just let it affect you, let it move you. Then something will come out of that. Like that's the next step will present itself. I promise it's um, that's the beauty of it. You know, it's such a, it's a life giving force when it, when it comes for.

James Fricker:

no. Well, there's something special to think about, like going out in nature and going for a big walk or, or, you know, looking at the stars at night, or, uh, even like you said, with music, like when your favorite song comes on and you're jumping around and like singing along in your room uh, or whatever it is. Yeah. I'd totally agree. You sort of connecting to something there, um, that perhaps gets lost definitely in the, like a professional sense, um, you know, at the office or whatever, uh, you know, There's definitely you kind of lose that. I feel, um, when it comes to that kind of really like, sort of pure joy that comes in those moments. Um,

Mykel Dixon:

can I ask you a question cuz you are, you are relatively newish in your professional career. So you've come into this big, big wide, you know, corporate vibe and it's, I mean, it's pandemic. Different. It's interesting. It's working from home, but you love coding. You just love maths. You love all of that stuff. Numbers and solving complex problems, all this stuff. Now you've got in the workplace. Has your, have your expectations been met? Like what you thought the workplace would be like when you were going through university or high school? Has it, has it been equal to what you were anticipating or are there, is it different to what you're expect?

James Fricker:

That's a good question. I think. One aspect of it was completely different. And like, I remember thinking this, so when I was in my last uni, I was like super structured with how I went about studying and like doing all this stuff. So I would like, like I had this routine, it was, it was so good. and I would like definitely replicate this at some point. Right? Yeah. If, if I, if I had more like, control over my schedule, but essentially it was like wake up around six 30, uh, drive to uni, leave home about seven, get to uni. Like, or drive to uni, get out the car at about seven 30 walk to uni drive at about eight. O'clock do like deep focused study for like four or five hours. Go to the gym on the way home. And I'd be home by like two or three. And like, I just like was way ahead of all deadlines and it was just super good. Um, and so that was like such a good ex, like I just knew I was like this, this is how. This is how things should work. and I remember I was, um, I got this internship in, uh, uh, in, in my penultimate summer. Um, and I was chatting with the, the guy that was gonna be my supervisor and I. Like, I was completely oblivious at this point. Never really like, worked properly. And I was like, Hey man, like, you know, I really work best. Like, I'll get in the office early. Like all good. Like, I really don't wanna, like, I'll get in the zone in the mornings. And, and then like we can have meetings and stuff in the afternoon cuz like, you know, my brain just works better then. So like all good. And then I just remember he didn't really answer. He just kind of looked at me like like, what are you saying, mate? Like, this is like not how we do these. And like at that, at that point I didn't really. Um,

Mykel Dixon:

Wow.

James Fricker:

I was kind of going into. Um, and then I was, then once I got there, I was like, oh, like, like I don't really have much control over what I do. Like this kind of stuff that you sort of have to have to participate in and whatever, which isn't all bad, but

Mykel Dixon:

That's so beautiful, man. That's so good because there's a guy called Aaron McKeon. He's a friend of mine. He works at garden and he does a lot of this research globally. He works with, you know, lots of big organizations all around the future of work and how we, you know, HR space is a big influencer and et cetera, et cetera. and he's speaking a lot, you know, a lot these days about how the pandemic has shaped the way of work and stuff. And he speaks about how we're going through a transformation now equal to what happened when business finally woke up to the customer experience. At some point decade or two ago, business really went, oh my goodness, what are we thinking? We can't just send out one email. 500,000 subscribers. We need to start personalizing. We need to start getting curious about what our customer wants so that we can design experiences and products that are gonna better serve them. That's gonna ensure that our customers buy from us is if we actually start listening and give them what they want. That same. And in the beginning, that was the challenge for a lot of companies. They were like, whoa, I don't know if I'm up for this, but that same thing is now taking place with the employee experience where businesses are now having to realize, huh? If we don't get to know our people, if we don't actually start designing a space that they want to be in. They'll go somewhere else. And it's fascinating that your first instinct, um, coming out of, out of, you know, uni or whatever was to say, Hey, I've figured it out. I know myself really well. I know what works for me is if I get up early, I get that four hours of deep work. Then I hit the gym. I mean, sure. I would normally go home, but I can stay and we can do a few meetings. I'm still gonna be good, but I'm gonna, I'm gonna be so effective for you. This is gonna be. And to have someone that's, you know, not no disrespect to them at all, but someone that's already heavily entrenched in this system to just not even respond with like, oh, okay, mate,

James Fricker:

Yeah.

Mykel Dixon:

that is not what we do here,

James Fricker:

yeah.

Mykel Dixon:

but what, like, that's the opportunity where they would go, oh my God, fantastic. So, you know what works best for you? Excellent. Then let's design that because, because if we break down your employment, Like at, at the core of it is we want to get the best, the maximum value we can from you. And if you've already stood forward and said, I know how you can get the best value from me, then it feels like a pretty logical step for the company to go, oh my God, thank you. You figured that out already. Well, then we'll just work with you on that because you're gonna get, you know, that's, that's the perfect equation. This is this, this shift we're in right now where companies are not, most of them are not there yet, but they're, but this is the shift it's like, hang on. We need to find a better way. And if you've figured out what way works for you to be your most creative, your most innovative, your most productive man. If I was your boss, I'd be like, James, you do you. My. Here's what we need done. Ideally in a couple of weeks go nuts.

James Fricker:

Mm

Mykel Dixon:

It's really interesting.

James Fricker:

Yeah, no, that's pretty cool. Like, uh, about what you said, um, you know, with the, the email list and really customizing not only for the customers like of the, of the business, but the internal customers, which are like, you know,

Mykel Dixon:

Mm-hmm exactly.

James Fricker:

that sense. Mm. Yeah. I, I think that's super cool. Because, yeah, I think there's a lot to be lot to be gained in that area. Cause I think, yeah, like you said, everyone, and everyone's wired differently. Like what works for me might not work for someone else and might not work for someone else. Right. Um, but if you can find a way to connect the jigsaw sort of nicely, then I think, um, it's really a win-win for everyone. Cuz you can work in a way that you want to work and the business is kind of getting the most out of you as well. Um,

Mykel Dixon:

And, you know, and, and I'd even say on that, that your. You and your tribe, I'd say to other people, maybe the listeners of this podcast that might be around a similar demographic that maybe you're also just beginning their careers or five, 10 years in

James Fricker:

Hm.

Mykel Dixon:

not to put responsibility on you because you didn't ask for that. And certainly don't deserve it. But I do see that there's a tremendous opportunity for you to lead in that. You gotta get these guys and girls up the top to start to recognize, Hey, we're ready. We're willing. We want to be a part of this. We got value to contribute. We, we are hungry to climb the ladder to do whatever, but we also know a few things about who we are and we know what works best for us. And if you're listening, we can help you create a space that is gonna make us thrive. And if that, if, if we can have that, then everybody wins, but they're not, you know, paying necessarily paying too much attention yet. And it's, um, Yeah, it's kind of like, I feel almost like the whole world as well is in this a lot of people, whether it's, you know, women in particular, people of color, anyone from, from, you know, some kind of social group or that is, that is seeking social justice. That's time to, for people to be account or held to account, but younger people as well, it feels like this shift in power. To be like, you know what? You're gonna have to start listening the systems that are grinding that have brought us this far. It's not serving everyone anymore. It's only serving as select few people. And we kind of had enough it's time to it's time to shift the game. And I think you, where I'm going with this, James, is that you are gonna lead a revolution and you are gonna transform the whole world of work by Christmas.

James Fricker:

We'll see Christmas. Maybe let's make it end of financial year

Mykel Dixon:

Okay. Let's

James Fricker:

it.

Mykel Dixon:

give you that.

James Fricker:

amazing. No, no, I think that's a one. I like what you said there, cuz I think, um, sometimes, and I like how you sort of put it on me there. Cause I think. Like myself and probably many others, like have these ideas where it's around. I'd really like to work this way, or I think my workplace should do this or whatever, but I think, um, it is almost up to, up to us to kind of drive some of those changes and, and really say actually, If I want this to happen, then no one else is like, perhaps no one else is actually gonna come or there's not gonna be this, uh, something like, like a COVID or some external event. Right. That's gonna come and change things. So like, I don't really have to do anything that's gonna gonna take care of itself. you know, and I think that's, that's important as well.

Mykel Dixon:

And this ties in so well, James, because if we don't, if you don't harness that energy, if you don't feed that energy, like there's a, there's a youthful, there's a power that comes when you're young and you're optimistic. You see the future there's ah, if you don't invest in that, if you don't grow those seeds, they will wither and die. And then when we talk about these statistics, when people are 30 and beyond, there's only 2% left it's because they haven't been investing in, they haven't been tending to the garden of their self expression of their creativity, of that furious fascination. They have to make things in the world. And so it's a, it's almost, it's an imperative to move the world forward, but actually it's, it's almost being responsible for your own. Success or your own, you know, capacity to thrive is to, is to stay hungry and to keep pushing and trying to change things and, and poke the bear. Even when you, you know, you'll definitely get a few bruises and scratches along the way, but

James Fricker:

Mm.

Mykel Dixon:

it, it's kind of like you, you develop more confidence and you, and you learn how to position yourself better and you get, figure out how to communicate better by being on the front lines. Mixing things up, you doing this podcast? The perfect example of that, there's a there's, there's probably 500, 6,000 people in Australia that are talking about doing a podcast right now. And 478,000 of them have been talking about it for more than three years. And you you're doing it. You know, you are, you are out there making it happen after work eight o'clock here we are 8:30 PM on a Thursday night making this happen. And it's, it's that hunger that's gonna. Keep you young, funnily enough, but also keep you in the game. Keep you learning, growing, pushing, and then ultimately being someone that does change the game for others. So it's very, it's very cool. Now it's important stuff.

James Fricker:

Mm. No. I agree. I think it's, yeah. I like what you said there about, um, you know, if you don't kind of water the garden, uh, in metaphorically, then it's gonna kind of, sort of slowly die off and you maybe will get to a point where it's hard to like hard to sort of bring everything back to life again. Right. Or maybe you even forget how to water it in the first place.

Mykel Dixon:

You're right. Yeah. And then you just sad and old and lonely and bitter.

James Fricker:

We don't want that

Mykel Dixon:

and an executive

James Fricker:

yeah.

Mykel Dixon:

you know, uh,

James Fricker:

I agree. I think it's, yeah, I think it's so important. And I think, you know, part of it too, is like, yeah. When you have these ideas and, and things that you wanna do, it's like, Really like acting on them is, is so important. Right? Like turning the things you're thinking into reality, even if it's like, um, you know, going on a trip somewhere or like messaging that person or starting the podcast or the newsletter or whatever, uh, you know, all these kinds of things where you're, it's not just this idea that you have. That's like, oh, it'd be nice to do that one day. yeah, but you're actually kind of really stepping into it and, and doing it, I think is, uh, it's almost like a. Uh, maybe even a skill perhaps to, well, you know, something to, uh, yeah, like you said, if you, if you don't, uh, do that consistently, it's almost like a muscle that's better analogy, you know, if you're not really, if you're not really working yet, then it kind of, um, it loses its uh, loses its value

Mykel Dixon:

It really does. And it, and, and the, and the world is not in our favor. Like the odds are stacked against us because the world just wants us to be consumers. It just wants us to show up, to get in debt and then to work hard, to pay off that debt. And then we are just good little voting, consuming, you know, batteries that keep this whole machine running, but it's really, you know, without being. Boohoo, conspiracy theory, whatever it's, um, it's a weird, strange little world that we found ourselves in. And so keeping that hunger alive and keeping that, that positive dissent, you know, being someone that that is consciously and intentionally trying to. Disrupt things and shake the tree a little bit and keep people on their toes. It's just so important ma of mine's he's really into, you know, mythical stuff and he loves the archetypes and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And he always talks about the trickster and the trickster is that well, well, there's the trickster archetype, but there's also the, um, You know, like the court jester in a little bit, and the jest, a lot of the time is the right hand person to the king or the queen. So they have, you know, the trust and they, you know, the king and the queen likes them and enjoys them and keeps them close and feeds them Andrah. But a lot of the jokes, a lot of what they're doing, you know, they poking fun at them gently at the same time, they're getting all, you know, all the village people, everyone else they're showing them, Hey, listen, This thing is all made up here. This thing doesn't have to be this way. You know, we we've gotta remember that we are playing, we we're allowing this game to continue. Do you know what I mean? And I think that's a lot, I mean, I'm getting a bit deep here, but I think if we all realized how much we're allowing this thing to continue. You know, it, we could, we could cause a whole lot of change very quickly,

James Fricker:

Mm.

Mykel Dixon:

but it's, but they got us with convenience. You know, we want our, we want a nice, safe, clean little life. We wanna watch Netflix. We wanna, you know, order Uber eats. We want the creature comforts, but there's, um, Yeah, we could, you know, we could change this game very quickly if we all realized, wow, hang on a second. We're all kind of playing along with this thing,

James Fricker:

yeah. Yeah. It's like take the, the red pill, uh, in the matrix

Mykel Dixon:

a hundred. What a, what a revolution that movie was, you know, when you really think about, I actually remember watching that in the cinema, in the, in the late nineties and. I went with a bunch of mates and we seriously walked out and went, that is gonna change like the course of the world. That's wow. Like what a cultural it's iconic. It just shifted your mindset immediately. But then what happened? Like we, it's almost like we became even more in the matrix, you know what I mean?

James Fricker:

yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, no, I think that's really cool. And yeah. What a, what a movie, and I guess it's still used in so many different, like analogies, like we use it then, but yeah, very cool. I think it's a. It's almost, um, going back to what you were saying before, it's almost sort of a, a life or death. Like, I mean, you've really gotta treat with some level of importance, I think, you know, cause it's like, I think about this a lot. Like I see, um, you know, older guys at the office or whatever at some of the places I've worked and I go, like, I really. Really hope that I like, I don't end up like that, you know, uh, in, in the nicest way, like, I'm sure, I'm sure, like, you know, they have their own journey and experiences and, and whatever, but, uh, you know, sometimes I'm like really, like when I'm, when I'm that age, I really hope that I'm, you know, there's something about me and, and I still have that kind of that zest and, and that creativity, that's kind of the fire, I guess that's inside. And hasn't just been, been blown out and I think,

Mykel Dixon:

James you're on the money. So I was, I was fortunate enough. I mean, I played music out of uni and studied that and whatever else. And then I was a performer for 10, 15 years. Um, so I, the influences I had were quite. Groovy people. They were pretty cool. You know, there was, yeah, you're hanging out. I was 18 20, 25, 28. You're hanging out with 42 year olds. You're hanging out with 60 year old. You're hanging out with 37, whatever different ages, but everyone was pretty cool. You know, they were living on the edge, they were outside of the square. So there was, that was the influence. And I just saw that as what you'd grow into, it was later that I ended up working in this, in the, in the corporate world, doing the work that I'm doing now. And it's, it it's been quite staggering. It's like, wow, this. This is it. This is what all the people do in these big buildings. Nine to five every week. This is, this is what goes on here. It it's, it was quite a wake up call when I first ended up, you know, checking it out because there's a lot of. Sick unhealthy, burnt out tired, you know, disenfranchised, lonely people. And that sounds pretty harsh and brutal, but I mean, you know what, I just call it what it is really. And a lot of it is, um, I mean, that's just, that's terrifying and it's so tragic. You it's kind of gotta go, what are we doing here? We need to stop and, and look at this. And I think you're absolutely right. Like there. It is a little bit life and death. There is there's some urgency to this. Otherwise a decade goes by two or three, four, and then you're looking at your retirement and you think what the F have I done?

James Fricker:

Yeah.

Mykel Dixon:

I've worked a few jobs. I stayed late. I don't really know my kids. I have two houses, but so what, I never really traveled much or maybe I did, but I wasn't present because I was on my phone the whole time. Like, whatever it. We kind of need to wake up.

James Fricker:

Yeah. Yeah. I agree. I think, you know, and like a lot of the folks listening are probably younger. Right. But I. You know, time does go pretty quick. Not like I know that's a bit of a, a, you know, a bit of a saying that people just say, right. But I think it's like, I guess before, you know, it it's been a year and then it's been another year and you know, you kind of get into the, the flow of doing the same thing at the same place and it kind of just boom and. And you're somewhere you didn't wanna be, uh you know, or somewhere that, you know, uh, you, you thought you'd be somewhere else. And I think, um, yeah, I think it, I think it honestly is, is at that point where it's, you've really gotta take this, uh, the creativity and the energy and, and really stoke the fire and keep it going otherwise. Um, yeah, otherwise you'll, you'll end up somewhere that you don't wanna go. And, um, You know, you'll end up somewhere that just, yeah. Within not long you know, you're somewhere that, that you, you didn't really wanna be, uh,

Mykel Dixon:

A hundred percent and even, and even building on that, I mean, we've kind of talked about, we've started this conversation around creativity and then we've looked at, well, this is what happens. If we're not careful, this is the world that we're in. It can be taken from us. Can be stolen from us. It can be, you know, but if we were to switch and go, well, what happens if we do engage with it? What happens to our life? What happens to our career? If we do make the time for it, if we invest in it, if we'd be courageous with it, if we allow it in and we, we, you know, we, uh, tend to the garden, so to speak, oh my goodness, the opportunities, James, you know, the joy, the connections, the magic, I. Even in my own speaking through my own experience, my own life, creativity has served me more than anything else when the chips are down and, and life is difficult and you got two bucks to rub together and there's not, I don't know how I'm gonna get out of this. What do you draw on creativity when things are going well? You know, and, and it's like, how can we make this even better? How can we, how can we bring even more to this and grow and blah, blah, blah, blah. It's creativity. How can I position myself ahead of potential competitors or other colleagues or candidates? Or how can I get that gig? How can I get that promotion? You've gotta think outside the box. And I think that one of the best things that, that being creative or staying creative can do for you in your career is that it makes the journey. So much more fun. It's less about this destination. You're not, you're not as fixated on, I need to get to X, which I think is a big part of why maybe in this old model and a lot of, a lot of people that are older now are struggling a bit, cuz they had this day, they had their eye on the prize that if they arrived at this particular place, everything would be better, but they sacrificed a lot to get there. And I think if you an you can anchor yourself in that playful, creative, curious, courageous space or state. Where you're just in the game for the sake of the game, you're having fun. You're doing a podcast, you know, you're trying this at work, you know, I'm gonna get up and do this, and I'm gonna put on an event at work. I've never put on an event before I don't care. I'm gonna try it. I don't care if three people show up, let's do it. You know, the next time 30 people show up, you're like, whoa, that's crazy. How did that happen? Then 300 people show up. You're like, this is insane. Now I've got a career. Like, it's just a, you know, but if you do that, it's, it's almost like if you take one step toward. The world in that way, it takes six towards you. It's like, ah, right on, you are here to play. Well, then we will give you everything. You need to make the kind of magic that you are hoping to make. And I've just seen it time and time again. I mean, my own life is an example of that, but the people that I aspire to be more like the people that inspire me. They just surrender and trust and lose themselves in that creative, in that flow state, not just in the particular time of day when they just they're in it

James Fricker:

Yeah. Yeah.

Mykel Dixon:

from when they wake up to, when they go to bed, they're just like, what do you got for me today? Universe, let's go.

James Fricker:

Mm

Mykel Dixon:

And it's such a departure from, well, I've gotta get there at nine because I've got a zoom session with, uh, Tony, and then I've got, you know, it's.

James Fricker:

yeah,

Mykel Dixon:

it's difficult. Like they're two completely different worlds, but, but I think we've gotta swing the pendulum back the other way.

James Fricker:

Mm, no, absolutely. And like, like you said, I think part of, I, I feel like part of the reason why it's. It does kind of open the doors up, like you said, and like six steps towards yours. You're trying to start doing some of this stuff. I think, cuz like, I feel like having this, the fire inside and the energy is just so rare. There's when someone does have it, they're just almost like a bit of a magnet. Right. It's like people want to be around someone that's after it and they're um, you know, they're just. Bring light to conversations and meetings, and they're the person that's, you know, does the meeting in a fun way. And it's like super interesting and fun. Uh, and it's like, wow, I, I want some more of that. And so I think that's a big part of it too, right. Is, is when you can, when you can engage that part. It's, um, you know, it's fun for everyone else as well.

Mykel Dixon:

well, it's beautiful, man. And, and it's such a, such a, a, a, a really beautiful way of framing. It, like the difference that you can make to those around you by just being that guy or being that girl where you, or that person, where you just, you just, it's fun to be around you. That doesn't mean you have to make jokes all the time and you'd have to be gregarious and outgoing and extrover. But it's just like, man, it's cool being around you. I like being on a project with you. I like having you in my team or I wish I was in your team or I want you to be in my team, whatever it is cuz they're just, you know, you're cool. And I think that that's gonna, that's gonna be more and more the case moving forward is that we don't have time for that person that. On a one way ticket to like, I'm gonna get where I get and you can get, you know, elbows out and look at me. I'm awesome. I've got 50,000 followers in my LinkedIn, whatever who cares, where like I wanna hang out with a person that makes me feel good about who I am and someone that, that wants to play together and wants to share and wants, you know, me to contribute and wants to. Hey, let's just go and do something cool together. Yeah. What a great idea. That's exactly what I want to do with my life. And that person I think, is gonna be, I think they're gonna have a real advantage in the workplace because, um, it's kind of like, you know, its weird and I don't know if it's, it's a bit daggy to say, but if you're picking teams like in a, in high school, you know, who are you gonna pick? You're gonna pick the people that make you feel good. Yeah. You might, uh, kind of wish that you've got the skills. Stuff like that, but I don't know. We can learn the skills,

James Fricker:

mm.

Mykel Dixon:

but if you're a dude you're in, if you are not you're not

James Fricker:

Yeah. yeah, no, no, absolutely. I think, I think that's a good point. I think it's um, yeah, it's, it's, uh, certainly real, like, yeah, it's gonna be beneficial for everyone and like, you can bring so much joy everyone's life when you are, when you are like that. Um, I think it's like, it's, it's so important that yeah, that we kind of keep that, um, cuz. It's, you know, it's almost a superpower to be connected to that energy, I think. And, and like you said, I think it's, it's kind of, there's almost a bit of a trade off. I feel where it's kind of like, perhaps on the one hand you do wanna be going after it in some sense. So you maybe don't wanna completely lose that, but also you wanna do it in a way that it's, it's fun and you're still kind of enjoying the right. So I think, um, And that's maybe a hard thing at times to, to balance, perhaps. I dunno if you have any thoughts on that. Like, you know, if you're still just kind of real, like, if you are like, I really wanna be at this position or whatever, but it's doing it in a way that's still, you know, we're still the creativity and the fun, all that kind of stuff is kind of still there as well.

Mykel Dixon:

Yeah, I think it's just being, being aware of the people around you and their, their situations, their, their aspirations, you know, what, what works for them. It's, it's kind of just a courteous, thoughtful, considerate approach. You can still be hungry. Like if you metaphorically speaking, you wanna win some medal. You want. Grand finalists. You wanna take home the premiership, whatever it is, you can get up at 4:00 AM and train all you want. You can be an asshole when you come to training or you can be a dude, but you can still push hard. You can run and you can sweat and you can be in the gym longer than everyone else, but you don't have to be a BA you know, like a prick about it. Forgive my language,

James Fricker:

Mm,

Mykel Dixon:

you know, you can still be cool. And, um, you can still push people and hold people to account without being mean.

James Fricker:

mm.

Mykel Dixon:

I mean? Or without, without making people feel less than, or shaming them or, or isolating them, like it it's, it's this inclusive, which again is very creative. Like creativity is all about collaboration and inclusivity and, and. Generous and generative, like it's using whatever's around you. It's not judging going, eh, not that not you it's like, Hey yeah, you come on, let's do this together. Whatever it is. Let's use that and build with that and put this here and off we go, you know? So it's um, yeah man, you know, pace, love and happiness.

James Fricker:

yeah, yeah. yeah, totally. No, I think that's really cool. I mean, what have you give a lot of talks and, and like run heaps of staff around like bringing creativity back into the workplace. I mean, what have you like if someone is listening and they feel like they've, they've perhaps lost. Is there any like tips or, or things you would say to them to help them kind of perhaps get outta that route or kind of reengage with that?

Mykel Dixon:

Again, I just say, get back to the things that you connect with that inspire you. It could be watching movies. It could be, um, listening to music. It could be going to events like you've gotta seek out what inspires you and then let it affect you. Like it's. If, if what's going in. Is directly related to what comes out. And if you are not feeling inspired, you're not feeling creative. You're not feeling like you not having these ideas and coming to you. And I don't really know who I am or what I want, or et cetera, et cetera, go and find it, like get hungry for it. And even if it's uncomfortable, even if you, you don't like going to live events, figure out a way, like, just get, excuse me, get curious. And because, um, It's not gonna, like you've G you've just gotta show a little bit. It's not gonna come to you. If you're sitting at home, you know, it's not gonna come to you. If you are going to the same places, talking to the same people, listening to the same stuff, whatever it is, you've just gotta, if you just like that one little step closer, uh it'll come. And, and as simply, as you know, we discussed before art fiction read a novel instead of a business magazine, like read, read things that. Are designed to ignite your imagination and then you just let your subconscious do the heavy lifting cuz a lot of the time. You just fill your brain with beautiful stuff, fill your brain with interesting people, go to a cool event, go to the theater, man. I'm a big musical B I'm, you know, I love it. Go and see the theater. The theater affects you in a way cause we just don't do it enough. And that's what we've done for thousands of years, we've gone and seen other humans tell stories live on stage. And when you do that, everybody comes out different. They're like, oh yeah. Wow. I forgot how much I liked that stuff. Honestly, they, they really do. You can take, you know, a trade there, you can take an engineer there, you can take a mathematician or a devil, whoever, oh, I'm not really into, you know, theater, March rara. And they sit through a show and they go, Jesus. Yeah. I haven't really thought about it like that before.

James Fricker:

Mm.

Mykel Dixon:

You know, this is wow. It's made me think about what I'm doing with my life. And maybe that's the, that's the whole design of it.

James Fricker:

Mm.

Mykel Dixon:

That's that's the whole purpose and intent of art is to get you to think differently and open you up and connect ideas for you. So get hungry for it, go and see some, go see something cool. You know, that, that affects you. And then it just it'll it'll come. I promise you it's it's that? It's like, you know what I mean? Like you can sit there and strategize. Um, okay. What's the best way that I can design my, um, lifting routine in the gym. Like how can I, okay. I'm gonna do push on Monday. I'm gonna do pool routine on Tuesday. I'm gonna do my legs on Wednesday. I'm gonna, and I'm gonna have my macros. You can spend hours on all that, or you can just go do some pushups and then like, Three minutes later, you've just, you've done a hundred pushups. It's just it's there. You could, we can overthink this. We can overcook it. We can try to figure out something or you can just go on, listen to some music, go find some art, go, go to somewhere that is creative and let it just kind of wash all over you as a starting point. And it will, it, it, it just kind of. Yeah, we don't need to make it any more complicated than that. You know what I mean? It's powerful. It's a powerful thing. Like we don't need to figure it out. We just need to let it in.

James Fricker:

Mm. Yeah, no, I think it's spot on there. I think even like what you were saying earlier was around, like, if you just take one step in this direction, Get one you know, go like go to something like that, readable, you know, try something a bit different what's outside of perhaps the routine. Cause I think that's, that can maybe be something that, um, can perhaps be negative, uh, after a while is like the habits and routines and these kinds of things. Like while they perhaps. Beneficial in some ways, if it's like, oh, you're trying to build a habit of reading or like build a habit of going to the gym. Okay. That's great. But I feel like, you know, at some point too, they become, it's like a, it can become a negative as well. Can be, can be something that perhaps you depend on or it's leading you into sort of somewhere that's a bit stale and it's not really, you know, giving you that the fun and the energy, um, anymore. So then it's worth looking at. in, you know, bringing, bringing it back, like switching it up, doing something completely different, like you said, um, you know, trying it in a different way, things like that. And I think it's, um, you know, I'm, I'm really interested now to kind of go and look at the things in my life and see how I can, you know, flip them around or do it in this particular way or try something crazy that I, you know, that may or may not work, but just to give it a go, do you know what I mean? Um, and I think that's, I think that's really.

Mykel Dixon:

Mm, awesome. You're awesome, mate.

James Fricker:

No. Thank you, man. Well, we've got like probably 10 minutes to go and there's one that, there's a few things I, I really wanted to ask. Um, so perhaps we'll just fill the remainer

Mykel Dixon:

Yeah. Great,

James Fricker:

some questions perhaps a little bit more, uh, more, uh, Tangible for housing and some of what things we've been speaking about, which I think are also really important, but one of the things was around, uh, public speaking and, and sort of presentations and stuff. Cuz I know that you are really, really, really good at this and you've won lots of awards and things for the things that you do in this area. But I wonder, has it been something that you've tried to improve?

Mykel Dixon:

mm-hmm

James Fricker:

Consciously. And if so, like we can kind of, where did you start in your journey with all this and how have you kind of evolved and what kind of learnings, I guess, have you learned along the way?

Mykel Dixon:

mm-hmm I'd say, um, for anyone that's gotta present, that's another skill that we're all gonna have to have, you know, and particularly if you wanna move up the ranks in whatever business, being able to communicate effectively, being able to influence from a stage presentation pitch, whatever it is, marketing sales, even getting buy in for your ideas. Being able to communicate effectively to a, to a group of people or a large room of people is a. Crucial tool, but honestly, like we can get into the nuance of it again. I'm this is probably an oversimplified answer. It's time on the court. The more you do it, the better you'll get. There are ways to elevate, like to accelerate. Maybe, you know, you go deep into storytelling or you think about posture and breathing and you can the tonality of your voice and da, da, da, da. There's a, there's a whole range of things to. Get become more high performance, but in the beginning you just gotta do it a lot. Again, it's me, you know, I'm going back to this, just do some pushups. Just go look at, listen to some creativity or be around a creative space. Go for a walk in Fitzroy, you know, co water, just be around the Crimmon. It's all funky and cool. Now, you know what I mean? Similarly, with public speaking, take opportunities, find opportunities, create opportunities to speak in front of people. Get terrified. Throw up before it, if you have to freak out about it for three weeks, write 17,000 words for a two minute talk and delete it all and start again and stress about it. Go through that process as much. And as often as you can, because you will learn more than again, strategizing or thinking or looking for the three top tip tips or the six practical hacks.

James Fricker:

Mm.

Mykel Dixon:

This is, I think speaks to, again, you know, kind of in line with this whole conversation we've had today, the old there's a way of looking at the world, which is how do I get there by doing X, Y, Z? Yeah. Cool. Or just do it, just get in the game, just play. And even if you, you will learn more in one presentation, one keynote, one speech, then you will in 50 practice runs. Like the moment you step up on stage, you you're just BA you are in the learning and you're freaking out and you says something good. And then you see someone in the audience and they look at your particular way. And you're like, oh my God, I suck. I gotta get off the stage. It's horrible. Ah, you know, all of this is going on, but you're learning in that. You're learning, learning, learning, learning, learning, and then you get off and someone, you go, oh my God, kill me. That was the worst thing that ever happened. Someone comes up to you and goes, that was amazing, James, thanks so much. I loved the way you did that. And you're like, what the hell was I the same thing?

James Fricker:

Yeah,

Mykel Dixon:

You know, this is it's and you've gotta go through that process and then you do it again, and then you get off one and you go, I nailed that. Like, I absolutely nailed it. And someone comes up and goes, Hey, man, that really wasn't very good. And you're like, oh my God, what is, I don't even know.

James Fricker:

Yeah.

Mykel Dixon:

I don't know anymore. You know, I just, it's just one of those things that. Just do it, do it as much as you can, as often as you can. And it starts as simple as putting your hand up in a meeting or unmuting yourself on a zoom call or a teams' call, you know, it's so easy nowadays, just to, has anyone got any questions tumbleweed,

James Fricker:

mm.

Mykel Dixon:

you know, uh, I'll wait for them to ask. Uh, I'll wait for them to speak. I'll wait. They're the, normally the ones that do it. Oh no, it's Tony. He's the rara. They're getting all the benefit. If you don't jump in, you are, you know, they're learning and they're growing in their craft of being comfortable and confident speaking. So it's, it's kind of like, Hey, I wanna go too and see that sometimes. Like, I, I try to get people to raise your hand before you've got a question, you know, people say, does anyone have any questions? Yeah. Just raise your hand. and go, oh shit. And then they go, oh, Michael, would you, um, yeah. And you'll surprise yourself. You will come up with something

James Fricker:

Mm,

Mykel Dixon:

like people do. That's what we do. We're so much more gifted and talented and creative and spontaneous than we give ourselves credit for. We just don't put ourselves in the mix enough, you know, we hold back and we now we've got screens and mute buttons, which we could hide behind even more.

James Fricker:

Mm.

Mykel Dixon:

When it used to be at least rooms where we were in the same room together, you kind of look around and, you know, you'd look down at the table and try to avoid eye contact to not get picked on. Now we can just UN take our, you know, screen down or whatever, take, turn our camera off and we can just hide.

James Fricker:

mm.

Mykel Dixon:

And it's like, well, won't get any benefit from that. You won't grow through that. So this is, I think there's probably never been a better time to learn and grow how to speak in front of people in this kind of weird hybrid zoomy world, because you can just, you can just put your hand out, like just join in contribute, and then. Does anyone want to lead this? Who wants to share? I will bugger it. You're at a conference and you're in a breakout table. Everyone's like, oh, who's gonna be the one that report I will, unless someone else wants to. And you can even say, look, I will, I don't want to, but I want to get better at public speaking. So I love to have a go at it, even though I really don't wanna have a go at it. You say that and everyone on the table goes, oh, awesome. Go James. Yeah, we're behind you. Sure. I wish I had the courage to do. And you could say, Hey, well, I'll maybe I'll do the first one. You do the second one then, and then everyone can grow and learn together,

James Fricker:

mm.

Mykel Dixon:

you know, rather than, oh, Tracy, she always, I'll just, let's just let Tracy speak.

James Fricker:

Mm.

Mykel Dixon:

And we, we let ourselves off the hook, but, but yeah, there's, there's loads of stuff. There are so many things that you can do to really refine your public speaking and become, you know, you could bring all kinds of magic down the track, but to begin with like a starting point, I really think just. Often all the time. And these are things that I learned from my music career. A lot of the time, you know, there's practicing at home, there's doing scales, there's PIOs, there's, you know, listening to tunes, transcribing, working it out. But a lot of all of the guys that I looked up to that that kind of helped me guided me on my way. They say, just book a gig, man. Just get a gig. You'll learn more on a gig, just book as many gigs as you can try and do as many gigs play to no one play on the street bus play in a shopping center where no one's listening to you play wherever you can, because you'll just, you'll learn so much quicker by being in the game.

James Fricker:

Yeah.

Mykel Dixon:

So that's my, that's my tip on public speaking.

James Fricker:

no, that's really cool. I think it's yeah, like the, I like the way yeah, you sort of, uh, landed that into the creativity. You've gotta be in the game as well. Right.

Mykel Dixon:

Hundred percent.

James Fricker:

so it's a similar thing. Uh, you're gonna best grow your and, and water, the garden of creativity. you know, if you're in there and you're playing the game and you're testing things out. So I think that's super cool.

Mykel Dixon:

you're tying it all together. My friend, I like it.

James Fricker:

amazing. Well, yeah, I've got, um, a last question for you, Michael. Uh, it's something that I ask all the guests and, you know, graduate theory. It's sort of, uh, yeah, we're about young people that are sort of perhaps surround my age early career, perhaps at university. I wonder if there's any advice that you would hand it to people that are at this stage, uh, kind of looking to grow their career and, and ideally be in the sort of 2% that. Still the creative genius. Uh, you know, when they're a bit older.

Mykel Dixon:

you? Can't. You've got. You can't let the world get to you. You are going to be met with, I hope it's changing. I really do. I think it is. I think it's changing, but probably still the next, maybe 10 years might be a bit bumpy. We're we're trying to figure it out. You are gonna have people that are mean you're gonna have people that talk about you behind your back. You're gonna have people that actively try to, you know, withhold information from you or stunt your career, or do all these kind of things. Don't let him stop here. You know, like you've got to, you've got to trust yourself, love yourself. You've got to accept that you came here for a reason and it's not better or smaller or grander or lesser than anyone. Else's. If you are here, you are meant to be here and you have a voice and you have something you're supposed to contribute to this planet. And that could be your neighbors. That could be your family. That could be, you know, the colleague customers. You could be there another Steve jobs, you could be another Barry who lives in the suburbs. Who's just a radical dude who says Gade to the posty every day. It doesn't matter. You're here for a reason and you just cannot let the world diminish you and make you feel less than. How, how much of a miracle you are? And this might sound like a little bit, you know, Tony Robbins, motivational speaky, but we need that right now. We've been told we're not enough. We've been told that we're not gonna make it, that we aren't, this, that we're not as good as them. That we're NA NA you open up Instagram. It's just, everyone's better than you skinnier than you got more money than you. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. It's horrible.

James Fricker:

Hmm.

Mykel Dixon:

And it's all bullshit, cuz all those people are worried and terrified and you know, insecure and rah, rah, you've just like my advice would be find people that you can trust and rely on and just hold this little unit of, of kind of safety and sacredness where you value each other. You support one another, you remind each other. Hey, we're awesome. Because the next world, the world that you'll all be building is it's gonna be better. Than the one that I inherited. And the one I inherited was better than the one my parents did. And the one that they, you know, we, we're getting better. We're on this journey, but it's, it, it can knock you around, man. It can knock you round and it can, it it's, you know, whether people mean to, or not, whatever you. Everyone. That's listening to this right now. And you included, James are extraordinary. You've got just so many beautiful, astonishing things to give to this world. We don't even know what they are yet. That's the magic of it. It's like, wow, who knows what James is gonna do in five years time or 10 years or 20 years. But if you start to believe a little story in your head that maybe James doesn't have something special to give, then you are not gonna launch that next project. And then we don't get the benefit of that. And this is the same as true, which I try to tell as many people as possible when I'm doing a keynote or a session, a leadership program, et cetera, et cetera. Look, guys, I really encourage you to share generously, cuz I can talk at you for two hours, three weeks, nine months. I can blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Hey, I hope that you get some value from that. Let's, let's hope that there's a little bit of insight in there, but the real value's gonna come from you all sharing your story, your experience, your perspective, how you see and perceive the world. You have no idea that the question you ask or the story you share, or the insight that you, you know, that came to you, that could be the thing that unlocks something for someone else. And the whole reason they came to this event or this keynote, or this program, or whatever was to hear you say that thing. Not to hear me. It's you. And so if you don't lean in, if you don't share, because you don't think, oh, I don't, oh my question's not good enough. Or, oh, I'm not as talented as the others. Or then you are robbing that person of having what they need. Do you know what I mean? Like you are, you are stopping them from getting the magic that they need to set their life on fire. We're all connected and it's so insidious. And it's so terrifying when we start to believe that we're not enough or that we don't have something amazing to contribute. And that amazing thing to contribute could literally be, Hey, I'm not sure I understand what's going on. You put your hand up and ask that question. Fantastic. There's probably 17 other people that are thinking that, but are too afraid to ask it and you've just go, oh God, thanks so much for asking that. That was awesome. Amazing. That's this is what we, we want a world like that and where we're just generous and we're in it together. And we are just, we're all being ourselves and sharing ourselves as much as possible and that, and that kind of place. That's the world I want to, I wanna live in and it's coming. So, so hang in there, team I'm with you. You know what I mean? We're in this together.

James Fricker:

Amazing mate. That was, that was really fantastic. Thanks so much for the kind words and yeah, I think that was some serious wisdom there. Um, and really inspiring too. So I think I'll be coming back to. Don't listen to that. like many, many times. Uh, appreciate it. Well, thanks so much for coming on, Michael. It's been an absolute pleasure to have you on and hear your thoughts and, and get your wisdom. Um, but for folks listening, I wonder if there's any places that you'd like to point them, uh, where they can find it now about more about you.

Mykel Dixon:

Yeah, web, I mean, website Michael dixon.com, M Y K E L D I X O n.com. I've firing up the LinkedIn in the Instagram lately, because partly because it's so. Terrible on there. you know, like we need more light and joy and not this, I don't know. We need more alternative voices out there on, in the mix. So I'm kind of bringing that back with a bit of vengeance, which is hopefully fun.

James Fricker:

Yeah, I'm

Mykel Dixon:

yeah, come and say hi.

James:

thanks for listening to this episode I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. If you want to get my takeaways, the things that I learned from this episode, please go to graduate theory.com/subscribe, where you can get my takeaways and all the information about each episode, straight to your inbox. Thanks so much for listening again today, and we're looking forward to seeing you next week.